Closing the Loop on Direct Assembly

All structural engineering students learn the direct assembly method, where you fix all degrees of freedom (DOFs) in a structural model, then impose a unit value of displacement at and in the direction of the $latex j^{th}$ DOF in order to get the $latex j^{th}$ column of the stiffness matrix from the fixed-end forces of … Continue reading Closing the Loop on Direct Assembly

How to Run an OpenSees Container in the Cloud

Now that OpenSees is just another Python module, you can do some pretty cool things in the cloud (and on the ground). One of those cool cloud things is running an OpenSees analysis in a container on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. A KH-lenticular or Kelvin-Helmholtz wave cloud (from this tweet). With either … Continue reading How to Run an OpenSees Container in the Cloud

SSI Modeling Challenge Results

After two modeling challenges (here and here) for the linear-elastic response of frame structures, I thought it would be a good idea to do a soil-structure interaction (SSI) modeling challenge. I feared the large uncertainty of geotechnical engineering relative to structural engineering would stifle participation, but I received four entries. Three participants submitted a single … Continue reading SSI Modeling Challenge Results

Most Solvers Can Be Marplots

Have you ever tried to replicate the familiar beam stiffness coefficients $latex 12EI/L^3$, $latex 6EI/L^2$, $latex 4EI/L$, and $latex 2EI/L$ (there's a poem about them here) by imposing unit displacements and rotations at fixed supports? It should be one of the first sanity checks you make when using or developing new structural analysis software. You … Continue reading Most Solvers Can Be Marplots

A Marathon, Not a Sprint

When tasked with developing an OpenSees model for simulating the nonlinear dynamic response of, let's say, a multi-story reinforced concrete frame, you may be tempted to go straight to force-based frame elements with fiber sections comprised of Concrete23 and Steel08 material models. This sprint to the finish line will undoubtedly lead to an analysis that … Continue reading A Marathon, Not a Sprint